Confessions of an Organized Housewife by Deniece Schofield
This was a very helpful book. Even though there were some things that wouldn't work for me (pushing a housekeeping utility cart with cleaning gear around, making a map of things in a deep freezer, binders with codes to organize puzzles and fabric, or writing a timed schedule for Thanksgiving dinner), there were many, many helpful tips. I wrote down my favorites and I hope it's helpful for you. I definitely recommend this book for anyone who's working on organization, housekeeping, and discipline! Thanks for recommending it to me, Veronica!
My favorite tips:
*Think things through before acting. Make a plan of attack before starting your chores.
*Store things where they are used. Items should have a clearly-defined space in the house. Can anyone in the family find a safety pin? A regular pen? A hairbrush? Ballet shoes (can you guess why we were late to ballet yesterday)?
*Find a planner/calendar/filing system that works for you. Make a running list of things to buy. Make meal plans! (getting better with this)
*Use drawer dividers and tame the wild junk drawer!
We have drawer issues. Note only 2 drawers in the whole kitchen!
And one of them must be a junk drawer! That will be my true test of organization. Can it ever be tamed?
*Be motion-minded. Keep both hands busy. Do something productive while you're on the phone.
*Use accrued benefits. Double a recipe or find a creative use for leftovers. Do all the mending at once. Straighten the house at night so things will be clean in the morning.
*When you see something out of place, quickly put it away. (this is an important one for me!)
*Remember that no house is ALWAYS clean. Even those homes you visit that appear immaculate are messy sometimes.
*Things I should do daily: general pickup, wipe/sweep floors and counters, laundry, dishes, vacuum, bathrooms.
*Be sure your home isn't just "surface"-cleaned. Here's a good quote from the book:
"Imagine for a minute that you live in a home that is clutter-free. Everything in the home has a well-defined, well-confined space. Cleaning an already orderly home is twice as fast and half as fatiguing. The kids come home from school, drop their coats and boots in the corner, throw their papers and books on the counter, grab a snack, spill the milk, drop crumbs on the floor and so on. Sure, the surface is getting messed up, but underneath it all there is still peace and order. Cupboards, closets, and drawers are still neat and tidy. Things can still be found and put away quickly. In a home such as this, bringing the surface under control is not really a big deal."
Now that's an ideal!
Her advice on: Where to Start?
*General pickup, beds made
I try to pick up every day, but it's hard if I go to bed early. I work best and most efficiently late a night. The girls did do a lot of cleaning after this picture was taken (they were playing "camping" under the altar!), since we'll have a meeting here in the morning. But that laundry + another load is still waiting on the couch to be put away!
*Well-balanced meals served regularly
Hmmm...does oatmeal and cinnamon toast count? What if they had an apple slice with them? How about pizza and an apple slice? Alfredo pasta with bread? Can you see I have a hard time with the veggies???
*Kitchen is in good order (dishes done?)
I'll show the "after" picture here
*Bathrooms cleaned and straightened regularly
*Entry areas clean and tidy
I think I'm passing, but barely. The guests coming tomorrow thing put me just over the cutoff. Still have a ways to go, but we're getting there!
"Put into action a program that makes getting organized an exciting and attractive way of life."
To put it into action...